Baringhup solar hearings begin

State planning panel hearings for the proposed 75 megawatt Baringhup solar farm began yesterday and will continue today at Maldon’s Bill Woodfull Reserve.
Planning Panels Victoria is conducting the series of three hearing dates with the final hearing date next Tuesday, July 23 at Baringhup.
The first two days including today are for Res Australia Pty Ltd as the applicant, DELWP, Mount Alexander Shire Council and North Central Catchment Management Authority to present to the panel, which will then make recommendations to the state planning minister as part of the process to determine whether approval will be granted for the proposed $195 million development.
The final hearing day set for Baringhup Hall next Tuesday is for local submitters including those who have objections about the proposed site for the development that, if successful, would see about 260,000 solar panels established on a 292-hectare leased site bordered by the Baringhup West Road.
The hearing process is intended to provide all parties an opportunity to present their viewpoints on the permit.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel will have 30 business days to provide a report with recommendations to the minister.
During the hearing the applicant will be requested to respond to a range of issues and questions that have been raised, including those relating to glare and glint and predicted noise associated with the proposal.
Eight local landholders have indicated their intention to make representations to the panel hearing next Tuesday. They include longtime Baringhup farmers Peter, Shane and Maree Baker who are among locals whose primary concerns relate to potential loss of quality farming land.
The Baringhup proposal is not the only solar farm currently proposed for the Mount Alexander Shire municipal area with another 63 megawatt solar farm currently mooted for Ravenswood South by FRV Services Australia.

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